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VoiceThread Projects April 21, 2009

Posted by animatingthecyborg in art, communication, visual culture, writing.
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Here are the links to the projects we screened and discussed in class today. The Umbrella Group will be submitting their link on Thursday, and hopefully we’ll have time to screen it in class next Tuesday. I haven’t heard from the Handlebar Mustache Group–I hope they are alive and well.

Remember, you have two options: either adding onto the narrative in some way, or adding a substantial comment about the VoiceThread project itself–hopefully these will bring the narratives into a different kind of life, a life of their own outside of the creators’ hands.

I’d like you to make these comments on each others’ by 10pm tonight–I will be checking the links to see the progress. This way you all have enough time to incorporate how the VoiceThreads changed in your Reflective Analysis through the commenting of viewers, and, also, what it is like letting go of a creative work and allowing others to imbue it with a life of its own outside the scope of your original design.

Gender Inversion/Women’s Rights Group

Barbie Group

Polaroid Group

Beatles & Diary Group

Tobacco Group

The Exponential Growth of Information March 5, 2009

Posted by chris drake in communication, culture, technology.
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‘Hybrid Cultures’ is an interesting and provocative topic that carries a look into the future of world cultures. Kelts’ Japanamerica only sheds light on a small portion of this whole notion of cultures combing and evolving into one. With this Age of Information and its exponential growth people around the world are able to communicate, create, share, influence, invade, control, and produce an idea soup in the media sphere. Globalization grows alongside information growth, which creates a world of Hybrid Cultures. Ultimately we are looking at a very distant future where there will be one unify culture, blended from all cultures past. A supreme remixing and growth of everything.

Cyborg Fridays February 27, 2009

Posted by animatingthecyborg in communication, cyborgs.
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Cyborg Fridays is a weekly event hosted in the Sanford Room of the library. I figure since The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Dollhouse and Battlestar Gallactica all air on Friday, then it’s the perfect days for cyborgs. It doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll watch all those shows. But you never know.

The screening on 2/27 will have food, but future Fridays will have to rely on the kindness of like-minded cyborgs aficionados.

You are more than welcome to bring your own food and friends with you.

You’re not obligated to stay through the entire cyborgian endeavor.

Find the group Cyborg Fridays on Facebook.

Technology And/In/Through/ Art….and Vice Versa February 19, 2009

Posted by smike97k in communication, cyborgs, poetry, technology.
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The recent study of William Blake and print making in general has really got me thinking about the connections between technology and art.  Matthew Belmonte mentioned the ideas of science and art in his story “The Yellow Raincoat,” and the distinctions between what the two intend to do.  However, I want to look at the direct connection between the tools that technology has created, and their influence on the world of art.


To go far back into history, we could consider the stone as a form of technology.  The stone was a way of making paint from natural sources, like fruit and berries.  By crushing these sources, one was able to create a paint like substance, to then use in recording history.  The original pen was made with a feather, and the paintbrush, from animal hair, and still used today despite advancement in art technology.  All of these items could be considered forms of technology in the aid of art, going back thousands of years.  The question is are there some forms of art that are completely dependent on forms of technology, no matter how advanced they are?  Could one be considered a “cyborg” when using the then technology of a rock?


The printing press was key not only to the spreading of news in the first books and newspapers, but also in the art of print making, as made evident by William Blake and so many other’s work.  The press that we used in our own class was probably an older technology, but a technology none the less, as would never have been able to create such a clean print, with contrast of black and white, without it.


The computer, obviously, is one of the most powerful forms of technology today.  One form of art that the computer has had a great impact on is that of photography.  The computer and digital camera have made the storing and manipulating of photographs and unbelievably easy thing to do at its most basic level.  It has helped some artist create fascinating and surreal photos.  However, as a super amateur photographer, I was originally hesitant to go digital.  I loved the process of developing film and manipulating light onto negatives to create the effect of the photo that I wanted.  This brings up another question about technology in art.  Does technology affect art in a negative way?  Does it take away from artistic creation, which is not easy on any level?  I don’t know.  I’ve questioned these thoughts in my own creations. 


Technology and art can be seen to go hand in hand.  The creation of a lot of different forms of art becomes possible with the aid of technology, no matter how simple.  And if you want to go even further, we need art to create technology, in sketches and the building of machinery.  The two can be intertwined in many ways and have been since the beginning of human kind.

The communicative February 17, 2009

Posted by saraholsen in art, communication, cyborgs, technology, writing.
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Throughout college, I have been forced to readdress my social, political, and personal views on just about everything in the entire world, which is what I believe part of what college is about. However, this semester has been met with a new challenge that I have not been expecting, and that is the reassessing of technology in my life and how I define it.

When first starting out on our little linoleum carving many of us were in doubt about the technology that would be proceeded. However, I feel that after a bit of contemplation, the reality of technology is painstakingly clear in our lives, and we are simply starting with the most obvious, yet most ignored technology, and that is writing. Writing itself, whether it is formed the way Blake did or the method of typing on a computer, is the technology that has literally come to control our every method of thought and action. If we were not a literate culture, we would not have the 200 pages of reading a assigned a night, and therefore, our entire educational system would be thrown off. How would we learn if we did not read and write? If there were no books to be highlighted and no essays to be written, how would our knowledge be measured. We can of course look at the cultures that did exist and the few that continue to exist today that were oral based. However, it is difficult to wrap our minds around the concept that every thing we do would change if we did not read and write. And not just educaiton but I mean everything.

With this being said, moving forward into the fact that technology and writing has developed to the point where this blog post is possible, I must say there is something about it that I do not like. There is something slightly complicated, but moreover, there is not the interaction that should be prominent in our learning. The ideas that people bring about on this blog post are stupendous, to be sure. However, my connection to who is even posting what has become completely lost and I would therefore prefer to have a class discussion about these ideas. I have come full circle to understand what technology is and how it employs are lives and creates the cyborg in all of us, however, there seems to be a line that is crossed that I am not comfortable with, though I am not sure comfortable is the right word.

Seeking Techno Justice January 29, 2009

Posted by boricuagirl1801 in communication, technology.
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Technology has its way of taking over society. We replace people with machines to create faster materials, such as clothing, electronics, and food. Even so, people are trying to make a way for technology to fit into genetics, mainly having control over reproductive rights and taking over women’s roles as caregivers. Eugenics play a role in technological issues because technology is stepping into a world  that is mainly meant for people.

Technology also separates people causing many forms of miscommunication. An example of this would be instant messenger and cell phones. These devices cause people to use these alternate forms of communication, rather than talking to people in person. It is given that these technologies do help, but ultimately it gets out of hand.

It would be impossible to seek techno justice when society is so entranced by technology and how it works. People are always into the newest gadgets and phones—we can’t help but purchase these items because we want the newest things. I think in order to create justice we need to backtrack forms of technology. It would definitely be difficult to do, and it might be impossible to fulfill.

Love Connection on Instant Message January 29, 2009

Posted by yakshi in communication, technology, visual culture.
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The above is an article entitled “Instant Message, Instant Girlfriend” by rising college sophomore Roger Hobbs, written for the New York Times’ Modern Love college essay contest. I thought of this essay instantly after reading “My Laptop” by Anna Newitz in Evocative Objects. As in Newitz’s reflection, Hobbs discusses how our internet aliases provide anonymity that allow us to share more about ourselves and our emotions online. Because we do not have to worry about physical interaction while chatting or flirting on the internet, we can be more candid with our thoughts and take time composing our responses. The internet also opens a virtual forum for dating, providing many more prospective boyfriends and girlfriends than in everyday life. Instead of happening upon your crush at school and talking for five minutes in the hallway, their screenname provides a direct, informal connection to them. Talking online expedites a normal relationship, and provides a certain distance that makes people more prone to sharing their secrets and life stories. As Hobbs eloquently remarks, “The Internet is the real world. Only faster.” 

Is the internet an operator that allows people to fall in love? You could argue that an all-night instant message conversation is comparable to a five-hour phonecall, but what about the lack of human connection. In an IM conversation you cannot hear inflections in a person’s voice or hesitations in their speech. Instead you develop an imaginary sense of their physical qualities as Newitz did, her crush’s body was “the feel of slightly concave keys nestled in a brushed stainless steel tray. His breath was the sound of  a fan cooling the CPU.” Now whenever Newitz turns on her laptop, she sees “a shadow of him flicker past.” Our we developing relationships with machines or with people? And if we are building relationships with internet aliases, will their online counterparts match up to their genuine personalities? As young people, are our relationships deficient of human interaction? With more and more substitutes for communicating in person (IM, gchat, text messages, email, BBM, facebook and facebook chat, twitter…), I think the best solution is relying on operators that allow you to talk in real time. Conversation should not be so composed or deliberate, and as Hobbs learns their are severe disadvantages to establishing artificial relationships.

Technology is life January 29, 2009

Posted by saraholsen in communication, technology, writing.
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The first few days of class have been extremely eye opening. As it stands now, we are constantly surrounded by various things of technology. I think it is, in fact, safe to say that in everyday life we are never without it. We rely on it to communicate, travel, learn, and even solve our small dilemmas such as telling the time. However, I had never truly deeply considered how each technology I came into contact with differentiated from each other. Or how it truly affected me. I am often surprised when I realize just how much I rely on technology to get home for breaks and stay in touch with people all around the world, including my oldest sister who has been traveling Asia for the last several months and stayed in touch through face book. It truly makes me reconsider who I am as a person. I am being represented via computer. When people look at me on a blog or web page, they are seeing it as me. It leads me to a deep consideration of how much the term cyborg can be applied to everyday people, like myself. I also am often reminded of the reaction women have while technology is encountered during their pregnancy. Many women say it makes them sad and disconnected from their child, because it is not something they are capable of doing or knowing by themselves. Therefore, I am also curious about the disconnection that technology can build by breaking down simple intimacies.

Fuzzyness or Clarity? January 29, 2009

Posted by ml7142 in communication, poetry.
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After reading Songs I tried to grasp a deeper understanding of why this book was chosen for us to read. When I thought about it I realized that this book is a perfect symbol for what our class is about.  The technique of storytelling throughout this is very intriguing to me.  If you were to read the text by itself without knowing what the image that stands by it was, chances are you would conjure a vision in your mind of something different than that which is portrayed by the artist.  Most often when reading a novel or poetry, the fun or beauty of the read lies in the vision you create for yourself without a previous notion of what the text is “meant” to depict.  For example when you saw Harry Potter for the first time the sudden rush of excitement or dissapointment as the images flash on the screen from a text book you had already read can either be a great thing or a nightmare.  When you read a text and simultaneously view an image that is meant to further describe it, you are somewhat set up for interpretation.  Throughout this semester the goal of this course is to look into different forms of stories and decipher how media and art play their individual roles.  This book to me was a great example of how such a simple form of image making can bring ancient words to life adding a little something extra.